Sofia Goggia (ITA) is back to torment the downhill field once again.
The Olympic silver medallist started the women’s speed season with a bang in Lake Louise racing ahead of a determined field.
The defending downhill champion glided to a 1:47.81 time to claim the crown in the first downhill race at Lake Louise. Goggia won both downhills at the venue last season on her way to winning four of the first five downhill races last season before her tough crash thwarted her season plans.
Despite the win Goggia is already looking forward to the second downhill race tomorrow.
“I am super happy with the result today but being sincere, I am not that happy with my performance. It was not that clear and not so perfect. I was really dirty in many turns,” said Goggia.
“I am excited for tomorrow because today I was not so perfect actually,” said Goggia.
The Italian takes her 18th World Cup win, 12 of her 18 titles have come in the downhill discipline.
She will go for her second treble at Lake Louise with the second downhill and super-G still to come this weekend. It is a feat Goggia’s friend, and skiing legend, Lindsey Vonn accomplished three times.
Vonn owned the mountain at Lake Louise in a way that many nicknamed the course Lake Lindsey. Perhaps if Goggia can win out this weekend, it may change to Lake Sophia.
“I think it is still Lake Lindsey (Vonn) because she had three hat tricks here and I had just one, and I am happy I did it once,” said Goggia.
It was not easy living for the favourite as the podium was separated by just 0.06 of a second.
Olympic champion Corinne Suter (SUI) gave it everything but took second, 0.04 off Goggia’s pace.
Suter skied hard to make up some time after a wide turn at the top but came up just short.
“It was very tight. I am very happy with my second place. There were two or three little mistakes I made today but when you go fast, these things happen. The next race is already tomorrow so I am looking forward to that,” said Suter.
The finish gives Suter her 19 career podiums, with 12 coming in downhill races. She will have to compete with her rival Goggia for those downhill podiums this season.
“It is so tight. We have to push each other to the limit. So, I am excited for tomorrow,” said Suter.
Cornelia Huetter (AUT) rounded out the podium behind the two favourites with a stunning race, finishing 0.06 behind first.
The 30-year-old veteran missed a lot of time the past two years due to injury and made three podiums in her return to action last season. Her strong finish at Lake Louise gives her 18 career World Cup podiums.
“The last few years were not easy for me, I was more at home than on the slopes. So, I am super happy. It was just a few hundredths of a second, so it was perfect and super cool. I have to find some more speed for tomorrow. But it is nice to be back on the podium,” said Huetter.
The top of the standings was dominated by the Swiss and Austrian teams, each placing three skiers in the top ten.
Goggia and Suter will headline the field once again as they duel in the downhill at Lake Louise on Saturday.